One of the things I enjoyed doing as a young girl was throwing tea parties with my favorite stuffed animals as my guests. In fact one of my prized possessions as a child was a porcelain tea set that I received for my seventh birthday. Now that I’m a mother myself, I have shared my love of afternoon tea parties with my own daughter. And on her fifth birthday, one of her presents was to go to high tea with Mommy at our local tea house. She dressed up as her favorite princess and we had a blast!
In every child’s life, there is a special moment that can never be forgotten. For many children this happens when they attend their first afternoon tea party with friends and family as the guest of honor. The experience can change them in ways we would have never expected- from influencing who they grow up to become or how creative they are!
Below are some simple ideas on how to throw a wonderful and budget friendly children’s afternoon tea party theme. Shhhh… I may be doing this for my daughter’s sixth birthday party or Valentines day party too.
Table of Contents
Step 1: Pick a date and send out your invitations
I love the idea of a princess tea party for little girls because at this age, they love princesses and fairies. Pick an invitation that fits within your theme and pick a time that works for the majority of your guests. In general, traditional tea parties will start at 3 pm and a luncheon will start around 11 am.
The key to success is a little pre-planning and completing some of the steps in advance without the kid’s help.
The secret behind being successful with kids is a bit of planning ahead and making sure that you get started on what needs to be done early so it doesn’t become too overwhelming later when they’re around wanting your attention as well.
Step 2: Plan your menu and select your “tea”
A typical tea party menu consists of a small selection of dainty sandwiches, buttery scones with jam, and an array of pastries and dessert. For kids you will want to go with something much simpler since their taste buds are less developed. Assorted tea sandwiches are great!
A sample tea party menu should include:
Assorted tea sandwiches; keep things simple. Serve finger sized portions of peanut butter and jelly and cream cheese with strawberries. Cut your sandwiches with cookie cutters to add a cute whimsical touch.
Shortbread cookies or small homemade cookies.
Fruit tarts or mini cupcakes
Since your guests are not yet ready to drink tea, I would suggest serving them lemonade, apple juice or milk.
Step 3: Setting the Tea Table
To make your children’s tea jamboree memorable, you should decorate in a whimsical fashion. You will want to cover your table with a pretty cloth tablecloth and use small clusters of flowers for centerpieces. Since this is a fancy event for your guests, use cloth tea napkins versus paper.
But the most important aspect of table setting that will make your table really stand out, is the tea cups that you use. I personally recommend serving your “tea” in beautiful floral tea cups. Now you might think that floral tea cups are expensive but they don’t have to be. You can find great deals on Ebay, Goodwill, flea markets, or at your local Chinatown. The beauty of afternoon tea partying is that all your tea cups do not have to match, so feel free to mix and match.
Kids love parties and are fascinated by the serving pieces of different shapes, heights, silver trays glittering with each movement. Their joy is immense as they watch it being pushed from room to another in anticipation for what’s coming next.
Step 4: Tea Party Games
One of the fun things about afternoon tea partying for little girls is that there are so many cute party games to play.
Since no princess is complete without a princess tiara, have your guests create their own by decorating a plain tiara found at your local party store. Stock your craft station with glue, glitter, ribbons, rhinestones, and stickers. If you decide on a fairy theme, instead of a tiara, have your guests decorate a wooden dowel to create their own fairy wand.
Another idea would be to have a tea bag hunt in your backyard. The idea is similar to an Easter egg hunt except that you hide tea bags instead.
Since little girls love dressing up, create a dress up station with a mirror and dress up clothes. Be sure to have lots of costume jewelry and fun hats for your little guests to try on. If you are very adventurous, include some makeup that they can play with too.
Creatively transform the party into an interactive adventure with these creative games for children. From face painting and pin the tail on the donkey to improv storytelling, there is something here that will make every guest feel included in this fun occasion!
Step 5: Tea Party Favors
No party is complete without party favors for your little guests. The obvious favor is the princess tiara or wand that they created earlier. If you can spare them, have your guests take home the tea cups that they drank out of as their party favor.
But of course my favorite idea is to give your guests a pretty handkerchief. There are so many pretty handkerchiefs out there and the little girls will love playing with them at home. My daughter actually uses them as napkins at her own parties.
Have fun creating those wonderful memories and have a lovely parTEA.
Editor’s Note: The “School of Tea” provides children with more than just the opportunity to learn about holiday tea. They can also attend a series of lessons on how to plan, organize their time, be patient and cooperative while working together as well as learning some ideas on tea or food preparation. Of course they won’t have much access in terms of boiling water or handling hot teapots but most everything else is fair game!